Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Air India’s fate to be sealed?

Kolkata: Following the long disinvestment procedure of the national carrier, it is reported that the government will soon float a request for proposal (RFP) for selection of transaction adviser, legal adviser as well as asset valuer for the proposed Air India disinvestment.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), the apex body for the formulation of government’s economic policies, had on June 28 granted its in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries, which include Air India Express as well as engineering and ground handling units.

“The announcement of RFP for the appointment of a transaction adviser, a legal adviser and asset valuer is expected to be made soon for disinvestment of Air India,” an airline official said.

Though the government has not yet set any timeline for disinvesting its stake in the loss-making flag carrier, the whole process is expected to be completed in 12 months to 18 months time. “The announcement of the RFP will set in motion the stake sale process,” the official said.

A group of ministers, headed by the finance minister Arun Jaitley, has been mandated to decide on the treatment of unsustainable debt of Air India, waiving off certain assets to a shell company, spinning off and selling stakes in three profit-making subsidiaries and finally setting the quantum of disinvestment, and eligibility criteria for the bidders.
09/01/18 Shalini Dasgupta/Media India Group